California to Open Movie Theaters at 25% Capacity on Friday

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California to Open Movie Theaters at 25% Capacity on Friday

By Tess Farrand, Associate Content Editor

Lights, camera and, finally, action!

Starting Friday June 12, 2020, California movie theaters will be allowed to open at 25% capacity Governor Gavin Newson announced.

Theaters were shut in the wake of COVID-19 back in March and hoped to re-open by summer’s end.

THR reported that 25% capacity translates to “no more than 100 people per auditorium, whichever is less [25% or 100 people].”

However, just because the theaters have approval to reopen doesn’t mean they will.

Deadline reported, “Chains in California we hear aren’t reopening Friday include AMC, Regal, Cinemark (which has outlined a three-phase approach beginning June 19 in Dallas), Alamo Drafthouse, Arclight Cinemas, Laemmle, Cinepolis and Landmark.”

When the big three chains do open though, it doesn’t come without health precautions.

THR reported:

California is recommending a host of other safety measures, including: limiting the flow of patrons into a theater so as to ensure that patrons are six feet apart; blocking off seats; requiring face masks when entering and exiting a theater, and at the concession stand; consider using disposable or washable seat covers; prop open doors at peak periods of traffic; consider limiting the number of customers using the bathroom at one time and reconfigure parking lots.

In April, John Fithian, CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners told Variety, “We’ve put together a task force of our members, as well as experts on health and safety and supply chains. We’ve sent guidance to theater owners.” Fithian continued, “Different states will have different things in terms of what is mandated, but we are trying to think comprehensively.”

Christopher’s Nolan’s TENET and Disney’s MULAN (2020) will be the first major releases in July.

Newson also said that movie productions may resume on June 12, with new health protocols.